Taylor targets overseas success
Pakistan in 1998 and Bangladesh in 2001 were the only times Zimbabwe have won a Test series on the road. Their captain Brendan Taylor was quite conscious of changing upon arrival in Dhaka - their first tour in 18 months - on Friday to play three Tests and five ODIs.
"Our team target is to win away from home," Taylor said. "We have failed to do that in the past. It is nice to finally play out of Zimbabwe where we feel quite comfortable. It is a big challenge ahead of us, we know how threatening Bangladesh can be at home."
This will be Zimbabwe's first three-match series since December 2001, but they can draw from beating Australia and threatening to do so against South Africa in the ODI tri-series in August. Bangladesh, meanwhile, have lost three out of four Tests and 12 ODIs this year.
Taylor did not want to read too much into the hosts' slump though. "I don't think we are worrying too much about their past form. We know how powerful they can be in Bangladesh, especially in one-day cricket. So hopefully in the Test matches we can put some pressure and it will be entertaining for everyone."
The World Cup would be another factor that would play on the minds of Zimbabwe's think-tank. The five ODIs that follow the Tests would be their last before the showpiece event, but Taylor preferred to not to look too far ahead.
"We are not really looking that far forward to the World Cup. We are thinking of what lies ahead in this series, try and get as much out of it. We will prepare for one game at a time and then we will get ready for the World Cup after Bangladesh. Obviously this is a very important series for both sides and we are all looking to do our best."
Taylor is one of four survivors from the side that became Bangladesh's first Test victim in 2005. Taylor made a half-century in the two-match series, and averaged 40.75, but he remembers it as a tough test by spin.
"I remember losing the first Test in Chittagong," he said. "I think Enamul [Haque] bowled really well to take ten wickets. He made it very difficult for us. We came back stronger in the Dhaka Test where we drew the game."
Since then, Zimbabwe have played plenty of ODIs and T20s in Bangladesh and many of their players have played in the Bangladesh and Dhaka Premier Leagues. Hamilton Masakadza was the fifth highest-scorer in last season's DPL. Taylor, Vusi Sibanda, Elton Chigumbura and Sikandar Raza are also familiar names in Bangladesh's domestic circuit. In addition, Zimbabwe A have also recently played a couple of unofficial Tests and three one-dayers against their counterparts in Bangladesh.
"I think they [Bangladesh] have lost a lot of their players but they have produced some fantastic younger players coming through the ranks," Taylor said. "They are a big threat. We have got some experienced players who have played in Bangladesh so hopefully that can go well" for us."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84